Hanging a Potless Plant with a Pop of Color

We’ve been looking to bring a little more life and color into the studio. Loving this version of a container-free plant that also doesn’t take up precious work surface space, we thought, “Let’s hang some plants!” We chose to use an ivy plant in the hopes that its vines will grow up the hanging string while other vines will trail and drape. This project is super easy, and you may already have most of the supplies at home! It would be fun to make a collection of these of various-sized plants and hang them at all different heights around your home, office or studio with different color cords. Read below to find out how to make this simple hanging plant and tips on keeping it alive and happy. — The Ladies of Forêt

The full how-to continues after the jump . . .


  • bowl
  • twine
  • moss
  • plant (Ferns, ivy and pothos all work well.)
  • bright nylon cord



1. Cut lengths of twine and lay them across your bowl, creating a web of strings that will then be used to secure your plant into a mossy ball.

Note: Think of this as tying up a root ball. You know when you buy a tree from the nursery and the roots are wrapped in burlap and sealed with twine? This is the same sort of idea!

2. Line the inside of the bowl with sheet moss with the soil side facing you and the mossy side facing the bowl walls.

3. Remove plant from plastic container and discard excess dirt to create more of a ball with the soil and roots.

4. Place plant in your moss-lined bowl.

5. Tuck fresh moss onto the upper part of the roots and soil so that it’s completely covered.

6. Now, pulling up on the strings that are opposite from each other around the bowl, tie them together snuggly to secure the moss around the plant. Be careful when securing the moss to weave the strings under the vines or leaves so you’re not hurting your plant when fastening the twine together. Keep securing the ball until you’ve used up all your strings.

7. When you remove your moss ball and plant from the bowl, you may need to add additional twine around the moss if it’s feeling loose.

8. Hang your plant with a “hot” nylon string. We chose a bright pink for contrast.

A few tips to consider:

– If you’re hanging this from the ceiling, make sure to use an anchor or hook that can properly support the weight of the plant. Don’t forget to consider that once the plant is watered, it will weigh more.

– Hang the plant in a location where it will get the necessary sunlight and conditions that it requires.

– When watering, read the care instructions on your plant. If you have a maiden hair fern, for example, that likes a daily shower, consider adding a little water at a time so that it’s not running out the bottom of your plant. Or make sure that your plant is easy to take down and put back up; then you can water your plant outside or above the sink.

  1. This really lovely and I’m thrilled to see a creative way of displaying plants that isn’t detrimental to the plant itself. Have you had one of these growing for awhile? I’d love to know how much humidity the moss needs to stay alive and in tact. Do you mist it daily? Does it burn in bright light? My impression of working with moss in the past is that it likes moist growing conditions and indirect light. It seems like it would be a great match with ferns that also need those conditions, but I’m not sure how you’d keep it humid enough around.

  2. KK says:

    Love the look. Where is the pink cord attached/ secured? Hard to tell from photos.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi KK

      it’s attached to the twine you tie around the base of the plant. :)


  3. Beccy says:

    Love this idea, I love to have plants in my home. My only problem is I’m not very good at keeping plants alive. I managed to kill off my spider plant last year!!! Maybe this year will be better…

  4. Sarah says:

    Dislike. Like many of the posts I see on DS regarding cute ways to grow plants, they seem to be only focused on the short term “cuteness” of the project and do not take into account the biology or life strategies of the plants involved. Mosses are a two generation plant, and the gametophyte generation shown in the photos will not live long in that kind of setup. Cute idea, just not a practical execution.

  5. Sarah Newhouse says:

    I had a go at a similar project several months ago, and thus have some thoughts about ongoing care. (I would highly recommend reading DS’s 2011 kokedama plant tutorial, if this project appeals to you.)

    I had some philodendrons on hand, but any plant marked ‘low light’ will do well for this type of arrangement. I give the base of the finished plant a quick soak (30 seconds or so) about 2 times per week. This allows the whole plant to absorb the moisture, and keeps the moss moist, too. (Note: I procured moss from Lowe’s, and mine was a bit piecier than the nice, big chunks shown in this tutorial.) After the soak, I allow it to sit on a small towel for a few minutes to absorb the excess moisture, which will help you avoid dripping when you hang it back up. Indirect light works beautifully; too much direct light will dry it out very quickly, resulting in the need to water more frequently.

    I hung one of mine over a plant, so that any drips that might occur happen over another plant that will benefit from it. I’ve also put one plant in a wide-mouthed cappuccino cup on my desk at work. The fluorescent lights may be hard on you, but they will make your plants very happy. Good luck!

  6. Jess says:

    Sheet moss doesn’t need humidity to stay alive. It’s really resilient, and will stay bright and green with very little care and by staying out of direct bright light. Occasional misting is all it needs. If you choose to soak the whole ball, don’t forget to let it dry for a couple hrs on an absorbent towel before hanging it back up.

  7. Beverly says:

    I echo the sentiments above offered in the fifth comment by Sarah.
    I would love to see more practical plant ideas, namely something to go on the front porch, or the patio, with careful consideration for sun and shade requirements and compassion for the living parts of the design. Plants are expensive and can be long term objects of beauty when handled according to their needs. Concepts of good design and using plants well are not mutually exclusive.

  8. Ingrid says:

    Great idea- love the simplicity & looseness. Looking forward to giving it a go.

  9. Jacqui says:

    Going to try this as a gift, it’s beautiful and I love the contemporary edge with the bright twine.

  10. kim says:

    LOVE this! I’m a florist as well avid gardner and plant collector and there’s nothing at all temporary about this project. Looking forward to starting some ivy sprouts and making several of these. Also how fun to revisit all of the above “green”links from DS past. Bonus!

  11. WD says:

    Wow Grace you are the resource Queen. Loves it.

  12. Colette says:

    What a great idea! Bookmarking this for future use.

  13. melissa says:

    this is so fabulous. I have these great wooden beams that run parallel to my vaulted ceilings and they would look amazing with some hanging plants. I’ve seen some “air” plants as well that might work. The problem is watering them – too high to reach. I’ll have to give it further thought, or find plants that need very little watering.

  14. Stephanie says:

    Hoya is another plant that might be a good match for this set-up. They are fine in lower light, lower moisture and some stems will climb while others will droop. I haven’t grown one in a hanging moss ball as shown here, but I do have one that is about 8 years old growing in a hanging pot of soil indoors.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.